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How To Get An Early Driving Test

January 19, 2024

8 min read

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Sam Plant

Content Writer

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There’s no doubt that learning to drive takes time. It ain’t easy mastering all those new skills and there are a few official hoops you need to jump through before the DVSA will grant you a driving licence. On top of all that, many learners find that the only practical test appointments they have access to are months in the future. Even more waiting...

Does it really have to be this way? Not if you’re a PassMeFast customer, no! While we can’t guarantee that you’ll be a fast learner, we can let you in on a neat little trick that often bags you a test date weeks in advance of the ones you can find yourself.

What do we mean by an early test?

By early, we mean a test that occurs as soon as possible, not necessarily one that is just early in the morning. (Trust us, decent driving test appointments are few and far between, so if time is of the essence, you’ll be happy to take one at any time of the day!)

Before we get into the whys and hows, let’s briefly explore what you can expect when booking a practical test the old-fashioned way.

Driving Test Wait Times

Close-up photograph of a brown snail with a 'learner driver' L-plate superimposed onto its shell

Learners usually only have access to test appointments that are months in the future. In fact, the average wait time for a practical test sits around the 2-3 month mark. What gives?! Well, learning to drive is a pretty popular pursuit. Think about how many people across the country are learning to drive at the same time as you. That’s a lot of competition for those precious time slots!

In addition to this, the DVSA run a rigorous and by-the-book operation. They’re not like that trendy restaurant that doesn’t take reservations but might just be able to squeeze you in at the bar because the host appreciates that your outfit matches the vibe. Appointments are released months in advance, and if you can’t find one that suits your schedule, you’ll be at a dead-end…

Why would you need an early driving test?

Good things come to those who wait (and all that), but if you’ve put a lot of time and energy into learning to drive, having to wait ages to sit the test is very frustrating. It also won’t be helpful if you’re feeling nervous about the test! However you look at it, earning a licence is a big deal. No one enjoys having to delay something so special!

You’ve recently failed a test

Photograph of people waiting in a queue

A particular group of people who really appreciate an early driving test are those who have recently failed one. If that sounds like you, chances are you’re basically test-ready and simply failed because of a silly mistake (remember: most people don’t pass on their first attempt!). You probably only need a quick refresher course before you’re ready to get back on that horse. Having to go back to the end of the line to wait for a test appointment is no good at all.

On a more serious note, some people who have a failed test under their belt find that during the wait for another slot to become available, they lose the motivation to try again. As a result, they give up on the whole driving thing and miss out on a really valuable life skill. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep that momentum going! Securing an early driving test will be a great help here.

How you can get an early driving test

1. Be flexible

Photograph of a woman performing acrobatics on a beach during sunset

If you really are desperate for an early driving test, you gotta be flexible (with your schedule that is; whether you can touch your toes is irrelevant for this one!). While learning to drive is something you can fit around your regular schedule, you still need to be realistic. It makes sense to prioritise it as much as possible, particularly if you’re hoping to get the whole process done and dusted in a short amount of time.

For starters, try to be flexible about where you want to take your practical. You may have your heart set on a specific test centre but wait times vary from location to location, so it’s best to check out the availability at more than one. Maximise your options to maximise your chances of an earlier test!

It’s also important not to worry about factors like the time of day an appointment falls. This kind of thing has very little (read: pretty much zero) impact on whether you will pass or fail. Examiners aim to make all test conditions as fair and equal as possible. Any theories about easy or hard times of day to sit the practical test should be taken with a fistful of salt.

2. Use PassMeFast's fast-tracking system

Photograph of a relay racer crouched down on a track and ready to start the race.

And now for the real lifesaver when it comes to getting an early driving test: fast-tracking. Companies like PassMeFast offer learners the chance to book a fast-tracked practical test. These test appointments are usually weeks (or even months!) earlier than the range of options that appear when you first search the DVSA site for a test.

3. Keep an eye out for cancellations

A small percentage of booked driving tests get cancelled for one reason or another. Perhaps someone needed more time to practice, changed their mind about the location, or managed to find a more convenient option. That part isn’t important. The point is, every so often, previously booked tests reappear as an available slot.

Now, as these earlier tests are like gold dust, they don’t hang around for very long, which is why you rarely see them. We do not recommend taking a week off work to camp out in front of your computer, refreshing the same page over and over and over again. That won’t be good for your eyes, social life, or sanity. Instead, let someone else (like, ahem, PassMeFast) do it for you!

How does our fast-track system work?

That’s a bit like asking Colonel Sanders what goes into his signature fried chicken, but we’ll let you off. In fact, we’re happy to lift the lid on our ingenious system!

We have a team of people dedicated to tracking every test cancellation that appears. And we mean dedicated. Day in, day out — they never drop the ball. As soon as an early driving test shows up, it’s probably going to a PassMeFast learner!

And we can do the same for you. Once you book in for your PassMeFast course (or even just a fast-tracked test on its own) we aim to get you a suitably early driving test within 30 working days.

Working towards a fast-tracked test

It’s all well and good securing an early test — if you’re ready to pass it! That’s why fast-tracked tests are best combined with intensive courses. If you’re going to speed up the journey to test day, you may as well speed up the learning process too.

If you’re not familiar, intensive courses involve taking multiple driving lessons a week that last 2-5 hours. This is in contrast to the traditional approach to driving, which often sees learners spend as little as 1 hour a week learning to drive. When you consider that the DVSA recommend around 48 hours of pro driving tuition before sitting the practical test, it could take you nearly a year to pass when learning the old-fashioned way.

Many people find that intensive courses are a much more efficient way of working towards a licence. Add on a fast-tracked test and you’ll be hitting the road in no time at all!

Let PassMeFast take care of everything

The great news is that PassMeFast offers both fast-tracked tests and intensive courses. Yep, we can be a one-stop-shop for all your driving needs!

Searching for the perfect early driving test can be a long, boring waste of time if you’re doing it alone. Let someone else pick up the slack so you can work on honing your skills behind the wheel!

Get an early driving test: FAQs

How can I get my driving test early?

The DVSA wait times are currently sky-high because of the backlog caused by COVID. If you’re lucky, you might be able to pick up a cancellation, but you’ll have to be fast because they don’t stay available for long. We can do the hard work for you. PassMeFast has a team of fast-tracking pros who know the system like the back of their hand. They’ll work around the clock to pick up any cancellations and find you a test, beating the DVSA queue by weeks or even months.

I’ve got a test already booked — do I need to cancel it to get an earlier one?

In short, yes. The DVSA’s system won’t allow us to book you a test if you already have one. However, once you cancel a test you can rarely get the same one back. Don’t worry, though — our team aims to get everyone a suitable test date within 30 days. If you’re not sure what to do about your existing test, ask a member of our team (available on 0333 123 4949) before cancelling the one you have.

I don’t need any more lessons — can I book a fast-tracked test from PassMeFast on its own?

Unfortunately, fast-tracked tests are only available for learners taking a course with PassMeFast. But, even if you’re confidently ready to sit the test, it’s always worth taking a short refresher course and mock test with one of our instructors before going for it. This will allow you to get used to the car and have a professional confirm that your driving is up to test standard.

Can I fast-track a test myself?

You can give it a go but, as we’ve mentioned, you’ll be lucky to find one on your own. Feel free to try and, if nothing comes up, you know who to turn to!

Why is it more expensive to book a practical test with PassMeFast than it is on the DVSA website?

Fast-tracked tests are slightly more expensive than regular tests, but for good reason! You’re paying for the speed and convenience of having someone devote their time to snapping up any suitable openings. (Don’t worry, there’s not one poor person forced to skip meals so they don’t miss any newly-available appointments — we have a full team of skilled fast-trackers who work on rotation!).

Is it better to have an early driving test?

If you’re ready for your driving test, it’s best to take it as soon as possible. The longer the gap between your lessons and your test, the more likely you are to fail. The trick is to take your test just as your lessons are over. Everything you’ve learned will still be fresh in your mind. PassMeFast time everything perfectly and will plan your lessons around the fast-tracked driving test we’ve found for you. Planning your course in this way means you’re more likely to pass first time, saving yourself time and money in the long run.

What is the best way to get a driving test cancellation?

Cancellations crop up regularly. Some people cancel their test if they’re not ready or are no longer available. They’re hard to catch though, because they’re usually booked by somebody else quite quickly. Instead of spending hours refreshing the screen and waiting for something to pop up, leave the hard work to us. Our fast-tracking team will work tirelessly to find a fast-tracked test that’s perfect for you. Just give us a call on 0333 123 4949 to find out more. If you’re ready to go, you can also book online.

How quickly can I get a driving test in the UK?

If you go down the traditional route, you’re in for a long wait. The driving test industry suffered a lot during COVID. Everything was paused for a while, which created a backlog of people wanting to take their driving test, as well as the regular demand from people turning 17 each year. In some areas, the wait for a driving test is as long as 6 months. PassMeFast can cut that waiting time by weeks or even months by fast-tracking your test and picking up a cancellation for you. Just give us a bell on 0333 123 4949 to find out more.

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